In our August 2011 update (click here), we advised readers of the advantages of the tier 1 (entrepreneur) route for employers and their potential employees as it leads to settlement. Due to the high interest in this topic, we set out some further information below.
This route is most likely to benefit a UK business that does not have a tier 2 sponsor licence, and where there is a non-EEA senior staff member poised to join the UK business by taking up office as a director, a partner or a member of a limited liability partnership (LLP).
With the availability of the tier 1 (entrepreneur) category, a UK business is not required to go through the tier 2 sponsor licence application process, which can take three months or longer to complete. Subject to meeting the requirements, the senior staff member will be issued a tier 1 (entrepreneur) visa valid for three years and four months, and will be able to work for the UK business. Their residence in the UK as a tier 1 (entrepreneur) migrant will also lead to settlement.